Sunday, July 29, 2012

Books, Lovely Books

Books, books, books, books, books... lovely lovely books. 
I was slow on getting into the Goodreads social media site, but I've finally realised it's crucial feature - at least for me. It's the 'compare' button. It's when you compare your ratings of the books on your bookshelves with the ratings of another goodreads persons rated books. 
Thus you can instantly see how closely your tastes match - so if they recommend a book you know the level of trust you're dealing with. 
This is brilliant, and probably one of the best, nearly foolproof, book buying systems I've come across. 
I've given up buying hard copy books (except for picture books) because of storage and vandal (read toddler) issues, and libraries are no good because I just get massive fines. (Blush) 
But as a writer and a librarian, I figure it's important I read. Also to set a good example to my kids and because, well, I can't imagine a life without stories. But ebooks. Ebooks are good. They're instant, there are no storage issues and no late fees. And you can get a sample chapter for free... *
But... if you can find other Goodread users who like the same books as you (rate a few of your favourite books and then see who has given them similar ratings and then compare their shelves to your own) then a. there's a brilliant source of books you might never have come across and b. you have a pretty clear idea of whether you'll like their favourite books or not. 
If you're dithering over getting a book... just read a few reviews. If, like me, you like to know the end of a book before you emotionally invest, particularly with an untried author, you can always find reviews with spoilers which will reassure you of the ending. 
Once your next-in-line-to-read-book is found, it's an easy matter to go to Amazon and order the sample chapter, just to be sure. 
Another plus on the writer side is you can check out reviews of books you believe to be vaguely like your own and see what people really like and really dislike, what works and what doesn't work. If you just take note of the reviews whose ratings and reading matter are similar to your own, you can be fairly sure they're coming from the same place. 
So, yes. It's a bit voyeuristic perving at everyone else's book choices... and it is a bit like wandering into a complete strangers house and checking out all their books. But it's not really that different to being a librarian and checking out everyone's book choices when they borrow and return. (In a completely non-judgemental way, of course) And it's a heap of fun. And something very easy to do when you're sick in bed with a cold and your brain won't actually function enough to write anything... But deciding on how many stars a book deserves? Yep. No matter how snivelly I get, I can do that. So, the silver lining of being sick - Goodreads re-discovered! Now I should probably actually write some reviews. Hmmm. 
Anyway. Sigh.  I love technology. The World is a wonderful place.

*And yep. I'm happy to pay the same price for an ebook as for a paper book. The convenience alone is worth it. The speed.  


  1. I am an ebook convert myself. I buy books from Kobo. I find them much cheaper than Amazon.

  2. I'll have to try kobo. I've been sticking with Amazon because it's what I know.. and easy... but it's probably time to branch out!

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